Need for enhanced cooperation to fight match-fixing Editorial Emma McClarkin, MEP and member

Issue 15:
Fight against match–fixing
October 2014
EGBA news
Editorial by Maarten Haijer
01-02Need for enhanced cooperation
to fight match-fixing by MEP
Emma McClarkin
03Betting industry confirms status
as major sports contributor
by Jason Foley-Train
04How to make a difference in
educating athletes on
match-fixing by Jeff Reymond
The EGBA is honoured that
MEP Emma McClarkin
who over the years has been
closely involved with the
sports issue is contributing
to our issue of EGBA news
on the fight against match-fixing.
In the aftermath of an exceptionally
rich year in world-class sport events, we
dedicate this issue to, the fight against
match-fixing. At the time of writing
Commissioner-designate for education
and culture Nacracsics said that he aims
to continue to address the problem of
match-fixing, just as his predecessor did.
MEP McClarkin, member of the Culture
and Education Committee, explains that
the fight against match-fixing will only
be won if the EU betting industry, sports
bodies and law enforcement agencies
start to cooperate at a global level, as
the threat transcends borders.
Sport organisations, and athletes in
particular, also play a central role in
eradicating match-fixing. Jeff Reymond,
Secretary General of EU Athletes,
highlights how education, through face
– to –face meetings with athletes, can
be particularly beneficial in helping the
latter to keep their sport clean.
As the sports industry and the related
financial implications have grown bigger
over time, so did the challenges to keep
sports clean. Jason Foley Train shows
in his recent report the firm dedication
of the betting industry to support
sports commercially but also raises
the most burning questions related to
sports integrity.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General
Issue 15: Fight against match-fixing
Fight against match-fixing
Need for enhanced cooperation
to fight match-fixing
Emma McClarkin, MEP and member
of the Culture and Education
Committee, talks of her priorities
to fight against match-fixing.
As a former member of the Rugby
Football Union, sports has a very
special place in my heart!
The many global sports events of 2014
have however reminded us that the
issue of match-fixing remains a prime
concern for policy makers, and one
that I hope my committee will focus its
attention on in this legislature.
Match-fixing has many facets ranging
from doping, money laundering to
betting related match-fixing. The
latter one has grabbed the headlines
in recent months and the global
nature of the internet means that
match-fixing has become a global
phenomenon affecting not only several
sports but also upper and lower
What is the problem?
Evidence from law enforcement
bodies, such as INTERPOL and Europol,
along with independent research
indicate that the principal danger
comes from organised crime based
outside of Europe. These criminals
“Evidence from law enforcement
bodies, such as INTERPOL
and Europol, along with
independent research indicate
that the principal danger
comes from organised crime
based outside of Europe. These
criminals often use unregulated
websites and operate with
criminal networks inside of
Europe to collude with corrupt
sports people to fix games.”
MEP Emma McClarkin
often use unregulated websites and
operate with criminal networks inside
of Europe to collude with corrupt
sports people to fix games. Many of
us were shocked by the finding of
Sports and the
European sports
betting industry
have the most
to lose from
having signed information sharing
agreements with over 20 major sports
bodies, such as FIFA and the IOC, as
well as a number of national gambling
regulators. This approach deters
corruptors from
So what can we do to
using EU regulated
“The Council of
First and foremost I believe
Europe convention
This approach
that sports and the European
against the
is however not
sports betting industry,
manipulation of
enough. Cooperation
who have the most to lose
sports competitions,
from match-fixing, have a
which was just signed between the EU
betting industry,
shared responsibility to work
last month, will
sports bodies and
together to protect sports
hopefully provide
law enforcement
integrity and to keep sports
a step in the right
agencies must be
clean. This is something all
extended to other
stakeholders in sport need
parts of the world
to take responsibility for. The
as match fixers often
EU sports betting industry is
operate across borders and continents
playing an important part to that effect
making investigations more of an
operational challenge.
Europol last year when it uncovered
a criminal network involved in trying
to fix an alleged 380 football matches
across Europe.
information sharing agreements at EU
level between police forces, betting
operators and law enforcement
Second, educating players is crucial.
After all, players are the first line of
defence against corruption, and they
therefore need to be educated that
betting on their own sport could
ruin their short careers. The betting
industry was a leader in launching an
educational campaign in 2010 with
EU Athletes, Europe’s leading player
syndicate, to explain to players how to
behave properly in relation to sports
and betting. The same campaign,
which the European Commission
co-funded, has the unique feature
of using ex-players to go into the
dressing rooms and have face-to-face
discussions with their peers about
sports betting integrity issues.
The Council of Europe convention
Third, sports can only be protected
against the manipulation of sports
from match-fixing if the sports betting
competitions, which was just signed
market is regulated and transparent.
last month, will hopefully provide
The regulated market needs to be
a step in the right direction. It will
attractive and offer what customers
ensure that signatories of this
are looking
convention have rules in place
for. Unjustified
to ensure that match-fixing is
restriction to the
recognised as an offence, that
betting offer
criminals can be prosecuted
has the negative
“The European
and facilitate judicial and police Parliament voted earlier effect of driving
consumers to
this year to allocate
€2M to launch a number the unregulated
This is a key priority for the
sector and
of pilot projects to
European Parliament after we
improve public -private
voted earlier this year to allocate sector partnership
the threat to
€2M to launch a number of
sports’ integrity.
(in this area)”
pilot projects to improve public
Something we
-private sector partnership. I am
must protect for
hopeful that this money will
Sport, industry
serve, in particular, to improving
and fans alike.
Issue 15: Fight against match-fixing
Betting industry confirms status as major
sports contributor
Jason Foley Train, betting advisor
to several associations, offers an
insight into his newly released
report “sports betting: commercial
and integrity issues.” This report
is an update of his Sports betting
report of 2010.
In 2012, the global sports sector was
2007”.3 These gambling sponsorships
estimated to be worth around $130
are likely to increase in the years
billion and is forecasted to reach
to come as a number of countries
over $146 billion in 2014 (+12.3%).
such as Germany, where sports
Importantly, media rights and
associations, such as the German
sponsorship revenues are playing a
football association, are urging their
dominant role in this with even greater
government to issue sports betting
growth rates between 2010 and 2014,
each accounting for around +30%.1
Similarly, the gross gambling revenue
The on-going reforms across Europe
(GGR) of the regulated global betting
demonstrate there is also increasing
market was $58 billion in 2012 and
evidence that private regulated betting
is forecast to reach $70
companies and state
billion in 2016 (+20%).2
lotteries can both thrive
These figures, if nothing
“the figures
in the same market.
less than impressive,
demonstrate that
Europe’s regulated betting
markets have allowed
reveals the booming
the relation between
popularity of sports, and
sports and the betting to gradually remove
the once dominant
shows the firm dedication industry is becoming
monopolistic approach
of the betting industry to more intertwined
favouring the lottery
support sports. Indeed,
and foremost that
sector. General assertions
the growth in sponsorship the industry brings a
that the opening of
revenues increased
positive contribution
more than the projected
to society as a whole” gambling markets to
competition involving
growth of the GGR of the
regulated private
regulated operators.
operators will lead to a reduction
in lottery revenues and thereby
This is because betting and sport
mutually benefit from this growing
money allocated to good causes,
commercial association, with
including sport, is not corroborated
sponsorship and advertising becoming
by the associated evidence. Indeed,
undeniably a significant source of
The global lottery sector has indeed
funding for sport. This has been
continued to show steady growth
helped in recent years by the gradual
in sluggish economic circumstances
opening of betting markets across
with annual sales improving by 4.9%
Europe, which has seen Member States in 2013, easily outstripping global
allowing sports betting operators to
economic rates.4
strike growing commercial deals with
sport. In this context, the European
The figures demonstrate that the
Sponsorship Association (ESA) reported relation between sports and the
that gambling companies were
betting industry is becoming more
“ranked joint 7th of all business sectors
intertwined and foremost that the
for worldwide reported deals in 2011,
industry brings a positive contribution
with 73 gambling sponsorship deals
to society as a whole.
reported in 2011 compared to 21 in
Issue 15: Fight against match-fixing
there is also
increasing evidence
that private
regulated betting
companies and state
lotteries can both
thrive in the same
Outlook for the global sports market to 2015
Gross gambling yield (GGY) equates to stakes
minus prizes and is also commonly referred to a
gross gambling revenue (GGR)
2014 World Lotteries Association Quarterly Lottery
Sales Indicator
Jeff Reymond
Educating athletes on match–fixing:
How to make a difference!
Jeff Reymond, Secretary General
of EU Athletes, the federation
of European professional player
associations reflects on the key
findings of their Europe-wide
education campaign against
These figures strengthened us in our
view that education is indispensable
to bridge the worryingly wide gap
between the athletes’ knowledge
and the need to keep sports clean.
From there grew the insight that the
most effective way of
curbing the situation
In early 2013, my association “EU Athletes reached would be to set up an
out to over 12900
education campaign
EU Athletes, with the
athletes over the
through face-to-face
backing of the European
workshops conducted
Commission and our partners course of 18 months
by people athletes know
from the betting industry the covering a total of
13 sports across 12
and thrust, namely the
EGBA, RGA and ESSA was
European countries” players associations
able to launch an education
themselves. To crystallize
campaign (entitled «PROtect
the campaign the
Integrity») to educate
EU Athletes set up the now widely
professional athletes on the risks of
recognized Code of Conduct for
match-fixing. This initiative originated
Athletes on betting issues based on the
from a longstanding relationship with
following key messages:
the EGBA, RGA, ESSA, who as early
as 2010 helped us develop a similar
• Know the rules;
programme. This programme mainly
• It is safest to never bet on your sport;
foresaw face-to-face sessions between
• Be careful about handling sensitive
professional athletes and trained
educators specialised in betting-related
• Fixing any part of an event is an
match-fixing throughout Europe.
absolute no-no;
• Report any approaches.
Research carried out on a sample of
athletes at the start of the project
Using these messages, EU Athletes
confirmed the clear and urgent need
reached out to over 12900 athletes
for more education among athletes.
over the course of 18 months covering
Indeed, preliminary research at that
a total of 13 sports across 12 European
moment found that:
countries. The process was further
• 5
1% of players were not previously
supported by posters, a cellphone
aware of the sports regulations in
app, a mobile friendly website and a
force on sports betting integrity
social media campaign – all translated
regarding match-fixing;
into eleven languages to ensure that
• 37,2% had placed a bet at least
athletes receive the message in a way
once a month;
that they can easily understand.
• 27,4% had placed a bet at least
once a week;
In addition to targeting players, the
• 1,5% were betting every day.
29 players’ associations that are
members of EU Athletes received
Issue 15: Fight against match-fixing
expert tutor training on match-fixing
issues at two successful conferences
in Berlin and Athens over the course
of the project. These concrete actions
massively contributed to both athletes
and their representatives becoming
more convinced and engaged in the
protection of the integrity of their sport.
The quality of the education program
was monitored through a questionnaire
to players which yielded very
encouraging results:
• 93% are now more aware of the
restrictions and implications of
betting on their own game after the
face-to-face meetings;
• 84% of the players who answered
the survey think more regular
education sessions should be
provided to players on sport betting
• Last but not least, about 40 players
during the course of the 18 months
contacted their player associations
with concerns about match-fixing
The latter cannot be further examined
due to a variety of issues including
confidentiality and the ongoing
nature of some investigations. This
represents, nevertheless, a significant
result in the fight against match fixers,
achieved by education and awareness
raising. Subsequently, and in response
to demands from the associations,
a protocol for handling reports from
players about match-fixing concerns
was developed and published.
The above statistics make the case
for the continuation of sports betting
integrity education programmes.
EU Athletes will continue to look
for support as it seeks to widen
its education programme to more
countries and sports in the future.